A recent interview with La Quinta’s chief marketing officer Julie Cary revealed a lot about the mid-level hotel marketing industry and how to stay ahead of the pack. It’s no longer about free coffee, breakfast or Wi-Fi. In fact, those are becoming an industry standard. Instead, this CMO is staying ahead by investing in a mobile strategy.
Most people looking to book hotels on their mobile phones, Cary explained, are looking to book that same day. This makes mobile design of the utmost importance. The goal being to make mobile navigation user-friendly so that booking is a relatively easy decision:
If they want to call the property, we made that easy. If they wanted to call the 1-800 number, we made that easy. If they want to book it, we made that easy. We didn’t worry about only getting the booking on the mobile site. It was about all the ways you could get the customer.
One of the ways in which La Quinta made booking easy was the ability to reserve a room for four hours (via their mobile site) with just a phone number. This means no digging through your bag for a credit card and having to use your phone’s tiny keypad to enter it. As far as social media goes, La Quinta was the first to incorporate reviews from Trip Advisor and Yelp onto their mobile site. A great move considering user-generated content like reviews are proven to help in the decision-making process for most Internet users.
Data capture is also an important part of the mobile marketing industry and can prove very beneficial for hotel chains looking to turn their same-day bookers into return customers. Text, email and remarketing are all viable options for getting mobile customers to review the property and their experiences or getting them to return. With the help of data, it’s possible now more than ever to improve your business’s efficiency and engage with your customers both on and offline.